Strauchanie's not a has-bean

Peter Helliar's wacky alter-ego "Strauchanie".
Peter Helliar's wacky alter-ego "Strauchanie".

The big dag that is Bryan "Strauchanie" Strauchan isn't much chop as a Collingwood player but he's an expert on fast food. Or perhaps his rounded tummy is actually muscle. The well-fed mullet-wearing character created by comedian Peter Helliar has been tapped on the shoulder by SPC to promote baked beans, but not ones in a can.

The Big Bean Bar is baked beans wrapped in pastry and using the best Sydney PR-speak about the "world-first innovation", Strauchanie will be at the "launch event being executed" at Federation Square today at 11am.

It's a perfect fit for Horsham's favourite son because his mother is called Soy Bean.

Drama follows gay footballer

The creators of the ABC's tabloid newspaper series Lowdown, Adam Zwar and Amanda Brotchie, must be blessed with ESP.

Tomorrow night's episode is about  a gay AFL footballer agonising over coming out of the closet and as history shows, last week Yarra Glen footballer Jason Ball revealed his homosexuality and copped a characteristic "Who cares?" from tweeting dinosaur Jason Akermanis.

In the Lowdown episode One Fine Gay, playing the gay footballer is Brett Tucker, the former Neighbours and McLeod's Daughters actor who has kicked goals in the US by being cast in the drama Mistresses with Alyssa Milano.

Tucker's other claim to fame is breathing in the same air as La La Land party girl Lindsay Lohan when spotted with her last year while leaving a Malibu beach party of primped princess Paris Hilton.

Speaking from the US about Lowdown, Tucker said he hoped the episode maintained a "balance between the comedy and integrity" of what the character was experiencing.

"I want to give a shout out to Jason Ball. I read the article in The Age and it really struck a chord. I played a lot of football in that league and it's a brilliant and gutsy move on his behalf. So well done mate, hopefully you've opened the doors for a few others."

One character absent in the episode is a bleached-blond intolerant former footballer with a big mouth but that can only be a good thing for viewers.

Fashionable baby face

Liberal MP Andrea Coote is "thrilled" at her impending role as grandmother, with daughter Amelia Coote and husband Sean Taylor expecting their first child.

The baby has already clocked up thousands of unofficial frequent-flyer points during Amelia's international fashion buying trips for South Yarra boutique Le Louvre and is bound to be on the best-dressed baby list.

"It is indeed a well-travelled baby," Amelia said. The statuesque mum-to-be is packing her suitcase again for a trip to Paris and Milan, seven weeks after her last trip.

"Basically, two of my five months of pregnancy have been spent travelling overseas (made up of two buying trips and a honeymoon)."

Andrea, an upper-house MP, said the family was "very excited" and "thrilled to pieces" about the stork's delivery. And she's fortunate to have an extra pair of hands eager to help with nappies and bottles.  The boutique's owner, Georgina Weir, has appointed herself "deputy grandmother".

Seeker finds the voice

With her soulful, piercing eyes, Lady Zeena will command the Hamer Hall stage to sing the hits of Italy's pop diva Mina. Making this November 16 performance even more intriguing is the involvement of Keith Potger, the Sri Lankan-born member of the Seekers who doesn't have Italian blood but has written English lyrics to three songs.

"I have a Sicilian daughter-in-law!" said Potger, further cementing his credentials for the role. To indicate the frenzied appeal of Mina since the 1960s, the producer of Mina il Musical, Duane Zigliotto, described her as Italy's female Elvis Presley, minus the sideburns and glitzy flared jumpsuits.

It is through Zigliotto's friendship with Potger that the Seekers guitarist seized the opportunity to write the emotive lyrics, especially for the song Se Telefonando by famed composer Ennio Morricone.

"I'm in exalted company," Potger said. Melbourne's own Lady Zeena has a striking resemblance to Mina and an alluring voice to match.

This story Strauchanie's not a has-bean first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.